‘Bottoms’ Success Shows Power of Sapphic Stories Amidst Show Cancellations

Bottoms

Sapphic teen comedy film ‘Bottoms’ has been undeniably a box office hit, and its success is — according to critics — a display of how female-led queer stories can be just as equally powerful as male-led ones, a statement amidst the continuous cancellation of lesbian TV shows.

‘Bottoms’ beat the record set by ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ for the per-screen average debut. With debut screenings on 10 screens, it earned an average of $51,625, more than the $50,130 per-screen average of A24’s ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once.” While of course, it is difficult to say that ‘Bottoms’ will reach the same success as the highest-grossing A24 release ever, an impressive debut number is still a feat worth noting.

With such success, it is not surprising that ‘Bottoms’ has expanded its screening to over 700 theaters in its second week, and 550 more in its third week.

This is a huge break from all the bad news sapphic shows have been getting over the recent years. In August 2022, Warner Bros DC Studios canceled ‘Batgirl’. And Netflix also has set a notorious reputation for canceling many sapphic series including ‘Warrior Nun’, ‘First Kill’, ‘Fate: The Winx Saga’, ‘1899’, and ‘The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself’. More recently, Amazon Prime also canceled and cut the run of ‘A League of Their Own’, a sapphic historical drama.

When Netflix’s Co-CEO Ted Sarandos, in an interview with Bloomberg, said that they have never canceled a successful show, and that “a lot of these shows were well-intended but talk to a very small audience on a very big budget,” it sparked outrage and reactions not only among queer fans but also creators.

Will Graham, co-creator of ‘A League of Their Own’, posted on X (previously Twitter) that their show “is not a small or niche show.” While the audience is domestic, “it’s very big. It has outperformed many other shows that have been renewed.” And so Graham requested to “stop reinforcing the narrative that [queer] shows are inherently niche or small” because that is “racist and homophobic and all the other stuff.”

Nevertheless, ‘Bottoms’ seems to prove the point of Graham and all other queer fans affected by the almost never-ending cancellations of sapphic content.

‘Bottoms’ continues to appear in US cinemas.

 

Sources: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

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‘Bottoms’ Director Emma Seligman: “Queer Characters Are Allowed To Be Horny And Hormonal Like Straight Male Characters”

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